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God never gets tired of forgiving

The first and only step required to experience mercy, the Pope added, is to acknowledge that we are in need of mercy. “Jesus comes for us, when we recognize that we are sinners.” All that’s necessary is not to imitate the Pharisee who stood in front of the altar and thanked God for not being a sinner “like other men.” If we are like that Pharisee, if we think we are righteous, “we do not know the Lord’s heart, and we will never have the joy of feeling this mercy!” the new Bishop of Rome explained.

Those who are in the habit of judging people from above, who are sure of their own righteousness, who are used to considering themselves just, good, and in the right, don’t feel the need to be embraced and forgiven. And there also are those who feel the need but think they are irredeemable because they have done too many bad things.

In this connection, Francis related a dialogue he had had with a man who, on being given this explanation of mercy, had answered: “Oh, Father, if you knew my life you wouldn’t talk to me like that! I have done some terrible things!” This was Francis’ reply: “Even better! Go to Jesus: he likes to hear about these things. He forgets, he kisses you, he embraces you, and he says: ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go, [and] from now on do not sin any more.’ That is the only advice he gives. If things haven’t changed in a month…we go back to the Lord.

The Lord never tires of forgiving: never! It is we who tire of asking him for forgiveness. We need to ask for the grace not to get tired of asking for forgiveness, because he never gets tired of forgiving.”

On Pope Francis, The Name of God is Mercy

Published in Worth Reading